European co-productions lead the way
by Fabien Lemercier
26/03/2008 - While Welcome to the Land of Shtis [trailer] continues its phenomenal run (14.6m admissions and €85.8m in box-office earnings), European co-productions stand out amongst the 12 new releases hitting French screens this Wednesday.
Animated film Dragon Hunters by directorial duo Guillaume Ivenel and Arthur Qwak is being launched by Bac Films on an ambitious 405 screens.
Retracing (in 2D and 3D) the misadventures of a little girl who encounters two below-average heroes, the film was produced on an overall budget of €10.3m by French companies Futurikon, Mac Guff Ligne and France 3 Cinéma (57% investment); by Luxembourg company Luxanimation (23%); and Germany’s Trixter Film (20%).
Released by its French co-producer La Fabrique de Films on 192 screens, the feature backed by Eurimages was produced by Spanish companies Tornasol Films and Estudios Picasso (60% investment) and UK company Future Films (30%).
Among the French productions, all eyes are on Samuel Benchetrit’s I Always Wanted to Be a Gangster [trailer], which recently won the Screenplay Award at the Sundance Festival and was selected at the Locarno Festival last summer.
Produced by Fidélité Films and Wild Bunch, this black and white feature starring Anna Mouglalis, Edouard Baer, Bouli Lanners and Jean Rochefort is being launched on 80 screens by Mars Distribution.
Rezo are releasing on 122 screens Marion Laine’s Un coeur simple [trailer] (“A Simple Heart”). The film – which is adapted from a work by Flaubert – stars Sandrine Bonnaire, Marina Foïs and Pascal Elbé.
Critics have reserved their highest praises for the Spanish co-production The Zone [trailer] by Mexican director Rodrigo Plà, which won Best Debut Film at the Venice Film Festival and the Fipresci Award at the Toronto Film Festival. Starring Spanish actors Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Maribel Verdù and Carlos Bardem, the film is being released on 40 screens by Memento.
The above films hit screens alongside two new US releases, two Israeli features, an Indonesian title and a Korean/Chinese/French co-production.
(Translated from French)